This New Lurking Itch
My friend John has written an entire book discussing the Derleth Mythos and ye origins of the Cthulhu Mythos; & this morning I re-read (for ye third time) the section on The Lurker at the Threshold. My initial understanding of this book was that Derleth wrote it (and he wrote the majority of it) as homage to H. P. Lovecraft; but the history of its being written has never been intelligently investigated--until now. It is still a mystery, exactly why Derleth wrote the novel and felt compell'd to add Lovecraft's name to ye byline--but we know absolutely that it was not an attempt to exploit Lovecraft's fame or "use" him name for one's own gain, since Lovecraft's reputation was nil in 1944, and most of the growing reputation that he had was the direct result of Derleth's editions of Lovecrafts Works published by Arkham House.
I have always maintain'd that it was Derleth, as much as Lovecraft, that got me hook'd on ye idea of becoming a professional Mythos writer. It is, in part, as a way to pay tribute to Derleth that I plan on, someday, writing a book in which every tale is inspir'd by Derleth's oeuvre of supernatural fiction. But that book, to be called Songs for the Comte d'Erlette, will have to wait---because Ms. Thang has a new obsession that is boiling my brain with creative fervor. I wrote, a wee while ago, my own version of Lovecraft's "The Lurking Fear," creating a novelette of 11,000 words. It was mass fun, and felt audaciously fan-boy. (I tell myself, "Girlfriend, a really professional author wou'd never write such a thing...") And now, reading John's section in his A Look Behind the Derleth Mythos: Origins of the 'Cthulhu Mythos' that discuss The Lurker at the Threshold, I am suddenly obsess'd with ye idea of writing my own version of that novel, set in Sesqua Valley. Is that crazy or whut?! I have long wanted to write a first novel, but I simply never got past the first two chapters. This feels different: I am fairly confident that I'm gonna write this thing. It may be a total travesty, but I gotsta do it. & I think I want to write ye entire first draft in longhand. I used to write all of my rough drafts in longhand, but then S. T. Joshi, becoming my main editor of my books, insisted that I get email so that I can compose using Microsoft Word and then send him my work as email. And thus I got into ye habit of doing all first drafts on ye keyboard.
Anyway, much to do, to plot and plan, to experiment with. If I actually write this thing I shall submit it to Dark Regions Press for publication. I'm looking at a work of approximately 70,000 words. Oh, the old girl is getting ambitious in her twilight years! If I can pull this off, then I truly am ye Queen of Eldritch Horror and worthy of wearing my Innsmouth gold tiara! Ia!!!